Meet the Hessler Motors "Desert Express" V-Strom Hop Up Kit

Hessler Motorsports introduces Suzuki V-Strom 1000 “Desert Express Kit” that bolsters the Suzuki’s looks and performance

Many of today’s big-bore Adventure bikes leave something to be desired in the off-road performance department. That's because, like many pickup and SUV drivers, a lot of ADV bike owners simply dig the rugged looks of the beefy machines more than they have a practical need to own one. Germany’s Hessler Motorsports is well aware of this, and in an effort to off-roadify modern Suzuki machines—the marque Hessler exclusively builds kits and parts for—the company offers trick upgrade kits for machines like the V-Strom and DRZ ranges. The company’s latest offering is the “Desert Express Kit” for the current V-Strom 1000, and it’s hard to overstate how transformative this kit truly is.

Before and after photos of the V-Strom 1000 with and without the Hessler Kit

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The kit starts by putting the big V-Strom on a crash-diet, replacing its stock battery with a lithium-ion unit, introducing a streamlined sub-frame, adding a narrower, lighweight, handmade Rally seat, and replacing the stock exhaust with a Yoshimura Signature R-77 Slip-On muffler. With a mirror delete, this weight saving program shaves a total of 35 pounds off the bike’s 514 pound curb weight.

Despite retaining several stock components up front, the new kit from Hessler greatly alters the Strom's appearance

Then there's the suspension. The machine’s factory forks were jettisoned in favor of custom long-travel units filled with trick Wilbers internals and held together with equally trick CNC upper and lower triple trees—bearing an engraved “HRT” logo—replacing the stock cast unit. The rear suspension is also replaced with a Wilbers shock complete with adjustable high and low-speed compression. In total, the new hardware brings both the front and rear units’ travel to a respectable 8.7 inches. If that's not enough for you, Hessler also offers a hydraulic preload adjustment upgrade for an added fee.

The engine's skid-plate is a trick steel/carbon fiber unit

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Other kit highlights include a new, sexier, carbon fiber front fender, a cool carbon fiber and steel skid plate, spoked Excel rims laced to Haan hubs, Pirelli Rallycross rubber (18”rear, 21” front), hand guards with built-in lighting, new windscreen, upgraded grips, fend eliminator, a full decal kit, and levers, and lever guards and foot-controls (complete with shift-pedal tip) from Zeta (the pegs are from Pivot Pegz). The kit is available in three different colors: yellow/blue, yellow/red, and red/white.

It's the small details on the kit that really separates it from the stock Suzuki offering

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The (“basic”) Desert Express kit can be purchased sans bike for $5,615 (€ 4.575,00), or you can order a new V-Strom with the kit already installed for $24,426 (€ 19,900.00). If you're really strapped for cash, or just want a couple of the upgrades, Individual parts of the kit can also be purchased separately on Hessler Motorsports’ website.

The kit's Zeta hand guards boast built in LED indicators

Photos courtesy of Hessler Motorsports

The new kit comes in three different colors combos, however they all sport the same graphics package
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